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DM Stephens Serpents Skull Campaign - Chp1:The Smugglers Shiv (Inactive)

Game Master terok

With the defeat of the dark Dryad and surviving many of the islands others challenges, the party is well on their way to becoming the Shiv's masters...only Ieana stands in their way...


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Congratulations and welcome back!


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

I'd like to think with Knowledge Nature +10, Aedalis would make the same realisation about the bodies that Nim and Anton did :P.

The real question though is... Should I let Tilsini feast on cannibal flesh? Decisions, decisions...


Seems more survival to me with hunting and such.

Just as Knowledge nature gives you a lot more detail about the natural creatures you face than one with lots of survival would have...of course this is just my interpretation of each person using his/her skills to help with the party well-being.

Of course they both would seem to have some overlap in real life...


BTW the cannibal flesh is still tender and warm...it would make an excellent treat for him/her? to have a nice little snack, although it would be a bit morbid.


DM Stephen wrote:
BTW the cannibal flesh is still tender and warm...it would make an excellent treat for him/her? to have a nice little snack, although it would be a bit morbid.

Would that be considered poetic justice? Ironic? Am I the only one that thinks a chorus of "Circle of Life" from the Lion King is totally needed here? Yeah, just me? Okay, I'll be quiet.

Cheliax

No longer matters Drow Lich Epic level Wizard/Cleric of considerable ability

Congrats as well! And welcome back!


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Congo rats Mihai! And best wishes Corbius! I feel like I'm missing out on something. ;)


Get someone pregnant...you can then join in the fun! :]


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

I've worked 5 tens more often than 4 tens so far this year, but I actually have my usual day off for once, so I updated the party loot log.

As for how to divide it up, I like doing it in-character in PbPs, since it's another opportunity for roleplaying. Anton wouldn't say anything in front of Ort, but we could use flextime for that dialogue; one way or the other, he'll be gone soon.


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

I actually despise doing it in-character but if its what you wish, very well.

It should be noted that Aedalis didn't start with any additional gear so OOC, to keep him balanced with everyone else he should receive the same share. IC, the group probably wants to give him less as he wasn't around for as long.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

I was very confused after we gained access to the Azlanti magic lab, and all of a sudden we were divvying loot ooc. I was just expressing a preference, in the hopes of recruiting others, since I appeared to suddenly be in the minority (with no explanation) last time. And even if I were in the majority, I wouldn't want to impose something on you that you actually *despise*. The point is to have *fun*. :)


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

I caught your post pre-edit and I don't understand the 'if that's the kind of characters your used to playing with' comment. I don't understand what it is in reference to.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Characters who wouldn't be fair. However, after thinking about it longer, I can see the problem. As long as it was the original group, being practical and fair was good enough. We gave useful things to people that could use them, while keeping the coins and gems secret from the castaways who weren't there and didn't risk anything to obtain them.

However, now we have two new players who also weren't there. It wouldn't be fair to penalize the players for starting later, but if the characters applied the same standards to them as to the NPCs, then that's exactly what would happen.

Okay, I've talked myself into doing it your way. I just would've appreciated an explanation last time -- not that you knew I needed one. ;)


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

I've been called on it before actually, dividing loot OOC when someone wanted to do it IC. And it led to some pretty major problems within the group's dynamic and eventually led to one person leaving the game (markofbane will recall this incident I am sure) over the IC difficulties so i've been burned in the past. Have also seen it almost wipeout DM Aron's Kingmaker game- loot splitting is an issue people tend to get very defensive or aggressive on which is why I prefer to handle it OOC.

Right now, I imagine the material wealth share is immaterial. I expect a big loot split if we successfully leave the island will be in order.

I do approve of the 'all unclaimed scrolls are held by Tragershen' etc. rules. We should do the same with someone and potions because there is little more frustrating to a DM than 'floating' items- suddenly it becomes crucial to know who carried that potion of 'situationally useful to X character right now' and it wasn't assigned to anyone.


Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

Just weighing in - I'm easy as far as loot distribution goes, though can see the appeal of the tangible discussion being carried out OOC before an IC divvy up.

If Mihai is interested in something then I'll pipe up, but otherwise he'll roll with the flow.


As Alex can attest, as a player I have strong views on the even share system of treasure where you pretty much "sell" everything and if you want something you buy it back from the group before it really goes to market.
As a GM though you guys should figure it what works best for you. I will admit though if it starts to become an issue I will step in and impose my views on the matter. I think we have enough experienced gamers in this crowd though that we can come to something that works for everyone.

Taldor

Male

Same feelings as DM, I do like that system.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

All unclaimed potions are held by Tragershen -- who has IC made it clear to us where to find them, in case we need them and he's incapacitated -- and Anton holds the party's treasury of coins and gems (formerly held by Nora).

Speaking of, I think that we need to start a new treasury, since the castaways will no doubt know about these pearls, and they also had skin (literally) in the game. Nora had a belt pouch that no one is using, but it's medium; and anyway, it might be a good idea to not keep all the wealth in one place. So, someone else could carry it.

I've been meaning to mention that in the "Total Value (gp)" column of the party loot log, I'm using the replacement cost, not the resale price. I figure that it shouldn't really matter which, as long as it's consistent. Also, the way that I'm dealing with used items is to reduce the quantity and note the date of use, so that it serves as a proxy journal. I could delete them, but for example it was pretty awesome, how Nim was brought back to save the day from the muskie that killed Nora.

Taldor

Male

Listing them by sale price makes the distribution method DM and I are alluding to a lot easier but best to let others weigh in on it too. Okoya, its the same method we use in Kingmaker, FYI.


I'm fine with that method of distribution, but not eager to go back and change every entry. Also, one reason I did it that way is because I didn't want to make assumptions about how much we could get for things -- or more to the point, I didn't want to do the work of finding out before it mattered. ;)


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

Can you define what you mean by 'replacement cost'? If you mean the value instead of the sale value (so how much it would cost to buy it in a shop) it can probably wait until we do a full split anyway.


I'm good with that distribution method as well. And we can just asterisk items that we will need to split with the NPCs if we are going to track that separately. If and when we reach civilization again, I can help with the math of splitting loot from this island.

Cheliax

No longer matters Drow Lich Epic level Wizard/Cleric of considerable ability

I am happy with the method used in the Kingmaker campaign.

All characters should receive a full share regardless of when they joined...

I generally operate under the assumption that all treasure will be evenly distributed between the characters and that the DM will ensure that each character receives items useful to their role. The game becomes untenable if there are wide discrepancies in wealth distribution between the PCs, regardless of IC "explanations".

I have every confidence in my fellow players and DM Steven that this will not become an issue. :)

As to the current distribution, I am assuming that Nim can lay claim to the +1 scimitar as the slayer of Klorak!!!! ...and seeing as he is the only one using scimitars currently. ;)

EDIT: As to the question of NPC shares... again it should be largely irrelevant IMHO. When I DM, when such a thing occurs, I either increase the treasure found to compensate for the extra shares (keeping to WBL) or reward the players for their generosity with tangible and equal benefits from doing so. (ie the NPC "repays" the expenditure with services, information etc)


HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

Of what we found, Aedalis makes no claims anyway.


BTW, as long as you give the castaways some basic equipment and help them get off the island, they will make no claim to anything other than what you give them.
That way you don't have to set up a separate share system for when they are involved in some way, which should be low once you leave the camp again.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3
Aedalis Omathi wrote:
Can you define what you mean by 'replacement cost'? If you mean the value instead of the sale value (so how much it would cost to buy it in a shop) it can probably wait until we do a full split anyway.

Yes, I mean the retail price.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

+1 to Nim getting the +1 scimitar.

I'll go ahead and add the pearls to the party's treasury.

I'm struggling with my character build, so I might have some questions later, but I'm not sure what yet. Basically, the problem is that in addition to being the sneaky perceptive Scout and the experienced clever Ruins Delver, Anton is OOC also the highest-AC tank, while IC wanting more damage output.

That's a tough combo to pull off. Hopefully I'll figure it out. If not, I'll ask.


Elven Wizard 5 HPs 27/27 AC 18 FF 14 T 14 CMD 16 Fort +3 Ref +5 Will +4 Init +4 Per +7

Yes, Nim absolutely earned that scimitar. That was an amazing battle. Between that and AK's druid in another game, I have a new found respect for the class.


Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Me too. I don't have time for a fifth game right now, but someday, I will make a druid.

Also, I recommend the potion of cure moderate wounds to Nim. Anton doesn't have one either, but his AC is high enough that it seems like a hit is usually a crit that puts him down before he could use a potion anyway.

Anton would strongly recommend to the castaways that they each take a few javelins, just in case. It's nice to be able to hit the bad people before they can hit you back. (Could Gelik or Anton use them at all, maybe two-handed? It isn't clear to me.)

Also, Jask has silently but steadfastly refused Anton's entreaties to modify Nora's chainmail to fit. I guess it's just too girly or something? Hopefully a barbarian's studded leather will be manly enough for him. ;)

And good news! I did actually figure out my build! (And thank you, DM Stephen!) Mostly I'll tell you over time through roleplay, but I'll give you this much spoiler: I'm staying ranger all the way. As far as I can tell, dipping would only *hurt* my ability to fill four roles, if I do this right. 8)


Male Human Magus 4(Bladebound)
Attacks:
Asilande +9(1d6+4/18-20x2), Dagger +6 (1d4+2/19-20x2), Longbw +7 (1d6/20x3)
Spellcasting:
CL 4 +6 melee, +6 ranged, Conc +9
Stats:
Init+3, Perc+2,AC19/14/15 HP 37,Frt+5,Will+4,Ref+4,Spd 30',CMB+5,CMD 19,Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

Wife and new baby are settling in at home so my life should be returning somewhat to normal. As should my posting.

Thanks all for your patience.:)


Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

Good to hear Corbius :)


Male Human Magus 4(Bladebound)
Attacks:
Asilande +9(1d6+4/18-20x2), Dagger +6 (1d4+2/19-20x2), Longbw +7 (1d6/20x3)
Spellcasting:
CL 4 +6 melee, +6 ranged, Conc +9
Stats:
Init+3, Perc+2,AC19/14/15 HP 37,Frt+5,Will+4,Ref+4,Spd 30',CMB+5,CMD 19,Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

As far as treasure distribution goes, I have a somewhat similar view as Nim.

However, whatever the group decides is fine by me as long as it does not become and "accounting" nightmare as it does in my home group.

Cheliax

No longer matters Drow Lich Epic level Wizard/Cleric of considerable ability
Corbius Jank wrote:
However, whatever the group decides is fine by me as long as it does not become and "accounting" nightmare as it does in my home group.

Ha! That is your own fault! It is only one player, you could vote her down... and she is getting better. :)


Congrats! And I for one vote against accounting nightmares. I have the ability -- a degree in math, even -- but not the tolerance.


If you guys get a little extra time I would like to get a little feedback on the new spells and the balance on them. I might tweak them a little if either one seems too powerful. Thanks!

Taldor

Male

I'll give you some feedback via PM tomorrow, give me a nudge if I forget.


DM Stephen wrote:
Halfling...the other, other white meat.

Propaganda, spread by the same shadowy folk who claim that elven meat is foul tasting and remarkably devoid of nutrients. :)


DM Stephen wrote:
If you guys get a little extra time I would like to get a little feedback on the new spells and the balance on them. I might tweak them a little if either one seems too powerful. Thanks!

No feedback on the spells you slackers! I worked on those for weeks...lol

Taldor

Male

You know I haven't updated anything except Kingmaker in about 36 hours, right? I'll get to it :P


You know its all about me Alex...lol


Sent you a PM on the spells, and I'll cc AK.


Elven Wizard 5 HPs 27/27 AC 18 FF 14 T 14 CMD 16 Fort +3 Ref +5 Will +4 Init +4 Per +7

I was going to try and go through that this weekend. Sorry!

Taldor

Male

Ok, you know I don't pull punches so here goes... I know you can take it ;). Doing this before my PbP updates to get the DM off my back :D.

Azlanti Luck

It is a little stronger than Bless I would say, but not so much that it deserves a level 2 spell slot.

However, you have two different themes going. "Luck" and "Foresight".

Azlanti Luck wrote:


This spell grants a small measure of foreknowledge to all of those within 20' when cast.

This screams Insight bonus to me, rather than luck, and I would prefer it if it was changed as such (it would also make the spell a nice divination spell, which are exceptionally lacking at 1st level). On that subject, I don't feel Enchantment (Compulsion) is the right school/subschool for the ability in the first place.

I think the radius is about right and compensates for the spell feeling slightly stronger than Bless.

I don't agree with Fredrik's assessment that it should have a material component, but I found his feedback interesting to read :) and we're obviously thinking along similar lines.

I generally like the spell.

Azlanti Glue

I think this spell needs some serious re-working.

So, two uses. The one targeting the feet is essentially a Tanglefoot Bag, without the range penalties that come with a range greater than 10 feet and with the potential to reach ranges far beyond the humble item. In addition, the DC is much higher (and is irrelevant to caster level & the casting stat used to cast it (something else I don't agree with)), and even on a successful save, your sticking a nasty condition on them (Entangled) for a round for the simple cost of hitting touch AC. Its also not clear how to remove the entangled condition instead of waiting for the effect to wear off.

You could easily 'entangle lock' somebody for the cost of a mere standard action per round and level 2 spell slots- this is strictly better than a tanglefoot bag because your move action is preserved. Repeated castings of this spell could utterly ruin a single enemy, as you could keep casting it and retreating, allowing your allies to pepper the enemy with spells and arrows for a flawless victory- and this assumes the poor monster fails no saves.

I am very dubious about this first use of the spell overall.

As for the second use, as Fredrik says Pathfinder doesn't use 'handedness' so theres some funny mechanics there. Same problem with DC's and the auto-entangled condition.

To still have a spell inflict a condition as severe as entangled on a successful save really makes me reluctant to like this spell or think it is balanced. Cause Fear does it but only applies Shaken which is a very minor condition compared to Entangle, IMO. I feel the Azlanti Glue needs different uses or mechanics to make it work. Save for partial effect is usually reserved for higher level spells and even then, its often damage.

Taldor

Male

Oh, and that the spell has no size limit is a bit strange. Tanglefoot bags don't work on huge sized creatures or larger. Also, how would the globe of glue interact with creatures who have multiple legs?

Cheliax

No longer matters Drow Lich Epic level Wizard/Cleric of considerable ability

Just because the rest of us had not chimed in yet with our thoughts... Why have half the discussion hidden in PM? :/

Repost here for all to read and contribute?


Sorry, AK was originally going to PM, and I thought that was an excellent idea, since privacy makes it easier to take criticism -- and I mostly just wanted to supplement AK's critique anyway, since I'm not experienced with spell creation -- but that no longer applies, now that it's become a round-table discussion. ;) So, here is what I said...

I don't have much experience with making new spells, but I'll give it my best shot.

Azlanti Luck:
This one is most similar to bless. (It even stacks with bless, which is nice.) The shorter range of the burst could be seen as balancing the broader save, but I would expect an M or F in the components.

Azlanti Glue:
It's hard for me to judge how balanced it is, so I'll just address mechanics, and let someone else say what level it should be. One, instead of a flat DC 20, I would say something like, "The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the spell." That way, it would scale with levels.

Another is that it isn't clear about targeting an arm; does that just affect one arm at a time? Pathfinder generally ignores handedness, so I could just grab my sword with my other hand as a free action, and attack like normal. Also, it looks like you could still cast spells with somatic components with the other arm. And what does it mean mechanically that you can't use that arm to defend yourself? It isn't clear.

I like the flavor, and looking at web and entangle, I think I can see how to translate it into more standard mechanics. It would be simpler to say that a creature struck by the globe that fails its Reflex save gains the grappled condition, otherwise it gains the entangled condition. If grappled, it takes a standard action to break free with an Escape Artist check or combat maneuver check (so that the strength check scales with levels); if entangled, it only takes a move action to break free with one of those checks. In that case, I would keep the full duration on a successful save, since the caster had to succeed on an attack roll in the first place, and the victim could use two move actions per round to attempt to get unentangled.

I really appreciate all of the work that you put into this game, and I hope that my feedback doesn't discourage you. Thank you again for all the fun! :)


As you can see above, the possibility of something like an "entangle lock" didn't occur to me. However, web can grapple a 20' radius for 10 min./level, no attack rolls necessary. So, it might not be possible to balance Azlanti glue as a 2nd-level spell, without it breaking at higher levels.

I don't think that comparisons to the tanglefoot bag are entirely fair, since I remember reading somewhere that alchemical items are weaker on purpose. (I'll try to find it.) Maybe something more-or-less like a single-target web could be balanced as a 1st-level spell?

But if there's a save to negate, then I still think that's a bit much to stack on top of an attack roll. Better in that case to make it an ordinary spell, not a ray.

Taldor

Male

Yeah, Okoya thats my bad not fredrik's. I'm fickle like that, I say i'll PM and then I post :)


Found the part about alchemical items being weaker on purpose, in the discussion for Ultimate Equipment: here and here.

Taldor

Male

I didn't mean to overemphasise a comparison between a spell and an item, i'm just pointing out its essentially tanglefoot bag with perks and no penalties for range.

The auto-condition applying no matter whether the save is made or failed reminds me of one of the main reasons I keep UM spells banned in my games- the unspeakable, unholy, Terrible Remorse.

Its been hit with errata once or twice and isn't nearly as bad anymore, but I still think Azlanti Glue is very strong. I was thinking creatures of a certain size should not be able to be glued down with it (like how Tanglefoot Bag has no effect on huge sized +).

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